Should we take this boy in?

(124 Posts)
CoolStoryBro Sat 04-May-13 15:21:20

Hi. My 16 year old's son's friend is having a really tough time. Both of his parents have died and he's been staying with a relative. Naturally, the poor kid is pretty messed up and it hasn't been a smooth transition. It's all culminated in his relative saying he has to leave.

Ds has asked if he stay with us "for a while". I was just wondering if anyone had any experience of this. Did it work? I have 3 other younger children, so I am worried about the impact on them too.

Obviously my heart says reach out to this boy and we have plenty of room and can offer him some stability while he sorts himself out, but my head is saying, "Eeek!"

Any advice gratefully received.

CoolStoryBro Sat 04-May-13 15:22:47

I should add we don't live in the UK.

Littlefish Sat 04-May-13 15:27:14

What is the relative proposing this child does? I think it is wonderful that you are considering this. I think you need to have a discussion with the relative and the boy to discuss some possible guidelines before you make a decision. Is finance an issue for you? Would the arrangement be open ended? What are the boy's future plans?

3littlefrogs Sat 04-May-13 15:34:30

I have done this with 3 teenage boys. I would do it, but you need to make sure he will abide by your house rules. 16 is a difficult age and you need to set boundaries.

Also, you need to think hard about your other children. If they are old enough, talk to them about it. I think it taught my dc kindness and thoughtfulness for others less fortunate. That was the way I was brought up.

There were times when my house seemed a bit crowded, but I would never have seen those lads on the street, and IME there isn't much help out there for a lad over 16.

CoolStoryBro Sat 04-May-13 16:36:42

Littlefish I think there is a lot of grief and hurt on both sides, so I don't think the relative is thinking clearly tbh. I think they've both taken their grief out on each other.

Financially, we can afford it and we have a spare room.

3littlefrogs Did you get involved with their schoolwork, etc? That's one of my big concerns, that DS would think there was one rule for him and one rule for his friend. DS needs no excuse whatsoever to get lazy about his schoolwork!! Perhaps that's one of the conditions on DS we make.

So much to think about! Thanks for replying

Littlefish Sat 04-May-13 17:03:30

That poor boy. How devastating to lose both your parents and now know that you are not wanted by another relative. I have absolutely no experience to draw on - it might be worth posting in the adoption thread area. Some of the people on there have experience of blended families where some children are adopted/fostered and others are not. They may help you to clarify your thinking on some of the issues you are considering.

3littlefrogs Sat 04-May-13 19:33:21

No - because both had dropped out of school. But I let them stay till they sorted out college/job whatever.

If school work was an issue I would make the rules very clear though.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Sat 04-May-13 19:42:34

I think if I felt it would help I would take him in if I could afford.
On condition that both of them stuck in school and tried their best.

Would he go to counselling? Winstons Wish are VERY good with children who have lost family.

If you have the heart, the room and the finances.. then I would say go for it.
The poor kid..he's a child, lost his parents and the relative wants him to go?
I would imagine any stable family where he is cared for will be a life saver for him, and having the same ground rules as your children will make him feel safe.

We have just done a similar.(.tho less intense )thing here.. my eldest is at Uni and her best (male) friend has just been left all alone in the world.. to the point of having to arrange his mother's funeral all by himself. He will be welcomed here every holiday just as my daughter is.... because even tho he's a couple of years older, the thought of him being alone with no grown up who CARES is unbearable to me...

purpleroses Tue 07-May-13 22:53:18

My ex's parents did that when my ex was about 16. The lad stayed with them for a year or two I think, sharing my ex's bedroom. They got on great, and he and my ex are still good friends to this day, and is still in touch with my ex's parents too. I don't know the details of how they set rules or anything though - it may have been harder at the time I guess, but certainly worked out well in the long run.

flow4 Wed 08-May-13 07:49:21

The tricky thing is, if you do take him in, I think you need to commit to keeping him with you for a set period of time - say til he's 18 - even if he's difficult. You could do more harm than good if you take him in, then reject him too.

bootsycollins Wed 08-May-13 08:09:52

Take him in, you know it's the right thing to do. I wouldn't expect the kid to have no issues after what he's been through, poor lads well and truly had the rug pulled from under his feet. He'd definitely have to adhere to the house rules that your dc do to avoid anarchy and bad feeling but ultimately this experience could be really good for all of you thanks

Yes, I've done similar. Couldn't not. My SS (surrogate son) had the same rules as my own two - all v close in age. It all worked out fine, and I have no regrets.

I think I posted on here at the time (maybe name changed...) I'll try and find original thread when I get home. There was some good advice on it

Helpyourself Wed 08-May-13 08:22:09

Can you propose a trial period of say, two weeks? Moot it as giving all parties a break and see how it goes?
thanks for thinking about it even.

flow4 Wed 08-May-13 20:59:18

I don't think a trial period is a good idea. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm putting myself in that boy's shoes... It would be devastating to do two weeks and then feel like you'd 'failed' or been rejected. sad
I think it's a fantastic thing to do, if you can... But I really do think you have to commit to him, if you're going to have him to live with you at all.

ThePskettiIncident Wed 08-May-13 21:10:30

My mum did it when my brother's best friend couldn't cope at home any more when his parents divorced. He stayed with us a few years from 13 onwards. He slowly built up his family relations and married young at 19 - still married some 12 years later!

He was lovely to have in our family and he's still my other little brother and my parents see him lots.

If I ever had the opportunity, I would do it. It taught me so much about being kind to people and real family values.
Poor lad, I wish you all the best and that you can find. Solution that works for you all.

Helpyourself Wed 08-May-13 21:12:20

A 2 week break then- you're right suggesting it a trial wouldn't work- m

Helpyourself Wed 08-May-13 21:12:54

Sorry-
More a come for a break. Then see how it goes.

Ledkr Wed 08-May-13 21:19:05

I've done it too.
I didn't have room or money hmm it was ok he was better behaved than my boys "yes ms Patterson" we helped him get re housed.
Be under no illusion that it won't be easy though as his issues won't go away.
Good luck

mrslaughan Wed 08-May-13 21:21:14

I think it is a wonderful to do.

But think you have to have very clear ground rules/house rules - or if he is not in the emotional state to cope with you laying down the law from the outset, just a very clear understanding, that you want it to work, and for it to work all children need to be treated the same, so everyone lives by the same rules.

CoolStoryBro Thu 09-May-13 00:02:57

Thank you for all the replies.

So, we had a meeting on Monday with the relative. She's his Grandma and she's not coping at all with losing her dd. She is also devastated that she's struggling so much with him.

We then had a meeting with his SW, his Guidance Counsellor and the school Psych, as well as the boy himself.

So, he's going to come and stay with us. The plan is, ultimately, he will return home. He will live with us Mon-Fri and, whenever possible, return to his Grandma's at weekends. If he doesn't want to, he doesn't have to, but we're hoping some space between them while they work through everything may help.

DH and I are very aware we may well have the rockiest two years of our lives, but both agree that this kid really needs someone to step up for him right now. For whatever reason, it seems its us.. When Ds suggested it, I had no inkling how much our lives were about to change!! I'm nervous as hell but, deep down, know we're doing the right thing. Hopefully.

Littlefish Thu 09-May-13 06:34:20

I admire you so much for making this decision and supporting this family in such a caring and practical way. I hope that in the long run it will turn out to be positive for all of you. Good luck. Please keep us updated.

Helpyourself Thu 09-May-13 07:14:58

Wow. flowers and much kudos to you. The weekend breaks sound like a good idea- very good luck.

flow4 Thu 09-May-13 07:43:36

Good for you! smile

bootsycollins Thu 09-May-13 07:47:56

You've landed yourselves a bonus grandma too! Good luck op hope everything turns out well for you all thanks

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